Superfoods tree

6 superfoods for anxiety

If you are looking to improve your mental health, these foods should be top of your list. We have picked out the foods with the most important nutrients for stable moods and healthy minds.

Sweet potato

Sweet potato

Sweet potato is a great alternative to potato because it counts as one of your five per day. It is excellent at keeping your blood sugar levels constant1, which helps with mood.

It also contains B vitamins including Vitamin B6.

Bananas

Bananas

Not only are bananas designed perfectly for humans to eat, thanks to perfectly fitting into the human hand and coming with a soda cap style way to open them, but they are also highly nutritious.

As a fun fact, banana is technically a berry2.

Bananas contain loads of good stuff1, including:

  • Vitamins
  • Tryptophan
  • Potassium

Chicken

Spinach and chicken

Chicken might not be first on your list when you think of super healthy food. However, when it comes to pounding the protein, chicken is a great option in comparison to red or processed meat. It's loaded with the stuff and inexpensive.

Not all chicken is equal. Evidence suggests that intensively-reared chickens contain up to twice as much fat as free-range birds3.

Organic is not the same as free-range and does not provide the same benefits4.

Chicken is a white meat, which is not associated with negative health affects5.

Fish

Grilled sea bream

Fish is packed full of good stuff. It is well known for the levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in it. But the truth is that there are loads more valuable nutrients in there, too.

Oily fish is more nutritious than white fish. If you are not sure about the differences between the two or want to learn more about the health benefits, see our guide to eating fish.

Shellfish

Oysters

Shellfish contain many of the same benefits as fish, and more besides! They are a great way to ensure you get enough selenium, zinc and copper.

Red meat

Beef chunks

This is a controversial one because, overall, red meat is bad for your health.

However, it is also loaded with vitamins and minerals. Therefore, if your anxiety is caused by a vitamin deficiency, loading up on red meat could improve things.

This should be used as a short-term solution. Long term, the best diet is one that is varied and contains lots of vegetables and white meat. Read our guide to red meat for more details.

Conclusion

This list gives you some great places to start when looking to add more vitamins and nutrients to your diet. There are many more highly nutritious foods out there, and we encourage you to eat all of those as well.

As with most things in life, variety is the best way to go. So, mix these in with your existing diet and see if it makes you feel any better.

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Published 26 March 2018. Written by Chris Worfolk.

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References

  1. Food and Your Mood. NHS. ↩︎

  2. Julia Morton. Banana from 'Fruits of Warm Climates’. Link. ↩︎

  3. Compassion in World Farming. Nutritional Benefits Of Higher Welfare Animal Products. Link. ↩︎

  4. The Observer. It's supposed to be lean cuisine. So why is this chicken fatter than it looks? 15 May 2005. Link. ↩︎

  5. Rohrmann S, Overvad K, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, et al. Meat consumption and mortality - results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. BMC Medicine. 2013;11:63. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-63. ↩︎